Former journalist and television personality Yair Lapid, who in January announced a bid to run for the Knesset, has said he will not link up with Tzipi Livni, who was ousted this week as leader of Kadima by Shaul Mofaz.
“As I have explained in the past,” Lapid wrote on Facebook, “no serving politician will be in my party. All over the world, when politicians fail they are replaced by new people with new ideas.”
Yesterday Mofaz spent the day packing Passover food parcels for the needy, underlining his commitment to social welfare issues. Mofaz said the good will of private efforts to address poverty do not absolve the government of its responsibility. “We are weak in the social sphere,” he said, “and that is going to change when I am prime minister.”
He also cited the projected additional rise in gasoline prices at the beginning of April as an indication of what he called the “callous policy of this government.”
Daphni Leef, one of the leaders of last summer’s social protest movement, responded to comments by Mofaz on social issues with a call to politicians to refrain from appropriating the social protest as their own. She said the issue should not be used to enhance politicians’ power.
Lapid’s Facebook comment regarding Livni was in response to a question posed by Haim Messing, whose son Gil is Livni’s spokesman, but apparently the elder Messing asked Lapid about a possible political partnership with Livni without any prompting from his son.
Later in the day Lapid again made his stance clear, saying that he had not spoken to Livni in months and would not link up with any particular party. He called her a “decent” person and said it was up to Kadima’s voters to decide whether she had been a success or a failure.
Livni’s spokesman said questions regarding Livni joining forces with Lapid are irrelevant at the moment and are not currently under consideration.
Since Lapid’s announced foray into politics, Livni has said on several occasions that they should join forces. In a Channel 2 interview in January, for example, when she was still the head of Kadima, she spoke in positive tones about Lapid, whether he chose to join Kadima or to link up with the “camp headed by Kadima,” as she put it.